Washington, DC, October 23, 2017 – IDC will begin its fourth annual three-day Summit for Middle East Christians on Tuesday, October 24, with a 2:00pm press conference at the National Press Club.  The Summit, entitled “American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East,” will feature Vice President Mike Pence, Patriarch Rai, dozens of Members of Congress, and several speakers and guests, including Carl Anderson of the Knights of the Knights of Columbus.  The event is being held in partnership with the Philos Project, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

WHAT: This year’s IDC Summit will advance five policy priorities:  stability, security, and sovereignty in Lebanon; aid to victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria; recognition of the Armenian genocide; holding American allies in the Middle East to greater accountability; and identifying and punishing the aiders and abettors of the ISIS genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and others.

WHY: The crisis of minority persecution in the Middle East requires American leadership.  Christians and other minorities are the friends and allies of the American people and deserve America’s support and protection, especially in the face of persecution and violent extremism.


Tuesday, Oct. 24:
National Press Conference2pm at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW.
Policy and human rights experts engage the national media in pressing for a way forward for Christians and other ethno-religious minorities in the Middle East.
Introduction by Ninar Keyrouz: Director of Media and Communications at In Defense of Christians

Christians in the Mirror Trailer, a Film by Jordan Allott

Moderator and Opening Remarks

  • Andrew Doran: Vice President and Senior Policy Adviser of In Defense of Christians
  • Patriarch Rai and Patriarch John X Yazigi
  • Mark Tooley: President of The Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • Aram Hamparian: Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America
  • Robert Nicholson: Executive Director of The Philos Project
Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christians in the Middle East, 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Ave NW.
This service is led by the Apostolic Nuncio of the United States of America, His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as Patriarchs, Clergy and other religious leaders from the United States and the Middle East.
Reflection by Reverend Johnnie Moore and special performance by Internationally acclaimed Lebanese Singer, Abeer Nehme.
People of all faiths are invited to join the service.DAY TWO:
Wednesday, Oct. 25:
Policy Briefing Day and Solidarity Dinner at the J.W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
  • Lebanon and Syria: Security and Stability Post Conflict
  • How to Advance U.S. Interests by Protecting Religious Minorities in the Middle East
  • Who Are America’s Allies and Enemies in the Middle East? A Hard Look at Turkey, Iran and the Gulf States
  • Interactive Workshops: How to Organize Your Community. Setting Up In-District Meetings with Members of Congress- Maximizing Effective Advocacy
See our website for more details on the schedule, including a list of speakers. Dinner:
In the evening, IDC will gather to hear the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, give the Keynote Address at the fourth IDC Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East. Following the Vice President’s address, the Solidarity Dinner will feature the “Cedars of God” Award Recipient, Chris Smith (R-NJ), special remarks by Congressman Darin Lahood, and a performance of ancient Aramaic chants by Acclaimed Lebanese Singer, Abeer Nehme.DAY THREE:
Thursday, Oct. 26:
Advocacy Day Briefing: Policy and Education on Capitol Hill
Watch the IDC community in action as they canvass their senators and representatives on Capitol Hill in order to physically advocate for persecuted Christians of the Middle East. Following this, IDC will gather in a Congressional Auditorium where members of Congress will be making appearances and speeches, including Congressman Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA). Stay tuned for more!For press inquiries and questions, please contact our Director of Media and Communications To RSVP for our summit coverage, please click here.

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